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Wedding Dates to Avoid in 2019/2020

I love this!  Great info for people planning their weddings, or getting engaged over the holidays.

1. Weekends with a Monday holiday
While you may be able to score a discounted rate from the venue to have your wedding on a Sunday night, since most people have the Monday holiday off, you’ll find that flights and hotel costs skyrocket on these weekends. Keep this in mind when picking one of these, as some guests may have to decline coming because of the extra travel costs.

Memorial Day
Weekend of May 25-27, 2019
Weekend of May 23-25, 2020

Labor Day
Weekend of August 31 – September 2, 2019
Weekend of September 5-7, 2020

Columbus Day
Weekend of October 12-14, 2019
Weekend of October 10-12, 2020

2. Thanksgiving Weekend
This may seem like a great time to have a wedding, since a lot of people travel over Thanksgiving, but it can be a very tough time for a wedding. For one thing, prices for travel and hotels go up during Thanksgiving. The other reason is that people usually spend this holiday with their family members. So if you have a lot of guests who do not live locally, they may not be able to attend.

Thanksgiving (always a Thursday)
November 28, 2019
November 26, 2020

3. New Year’s Eve
A New Year’s Eve wedding may seem like a fun idea. What better way to celebrate the end of one New Year and the start of another than with a wedding? Beware of high prices at venues and from vendors if you plan to do this date.

New Year’s Eve
Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Thursday, December 31, 2020

4. Religious holidays
Be sure to keep in mind the dates of religious holidays when picking a wedding date. Even if it’s not a holiday you observe, scheduling your wedding during Lent, Passover, or Ramadan, for example, may limit guests from coming due to cultural obligations.

5. Super Bowl Sunday
If you’re planning to do a Sunday wedding, cross Super Bowl Sunday off your list of options. And if you do decide to have it on that Sunday, be sure to have lots of TVs accessible for the die-hard fans.S

6. Friday the 13th
Friday the 13th is known as the day of bad luck. If you’re even a little bit superstitious, you may want to skip this date for your wedding or even rehearsal dinner.

Friday the 13th
September 13, 2019
December 13, 2019
March 13, 2020
November 13, 2020

Edible Wedding Favors – All the rage!

With edible favors, there will be nothing left behind because who doesn’t love delicious cookies?  Not to mention they are completely customizable!  From your favorite quote to your new monogram, it’s personal and delicious!

I love this trend of edible wedding favors.  I don’t know about you, but when I’ve gotten candles, or other inedible favors, I and many others leave them behind!  What a shame, all the time, effort and money you put into those!

Find Bella’s Dessert’s offering on our Confections and Cookies Menu:

Here’s a great article about Cookie Wedding Favors from Martha!

2018 Wedding Cake (or not) Trends!

First, and foremost, the 2018 color of the year is:

I know, seems crazy, but look at a couple of these gorgeous cakes!


By Crummb                                                  By May Bakes Cakes

Marble is totally in this year, as well as lots of texture and watercolored cakes are still a rage this year.


This is now the 4th year, but it has grown up!  Gone is burlap and sunflowers, this year, it’s about the textures!  From concrete, to wood grain, and everything in between!


By Jasmine Rae Cakes                               By Cupadee Cakes                         By Jasmine Rae Cakes           

Drip Cakes:


By Suga Blossom Cake       By Paisley Cakes                  By Don’t Tell Charles       

I love this trend!  From simple white on white, to caramel to gold, you dress up rustic, add to naked, it’s just fun!  It’s also trendy to add edible embellishments, such as meringues, macarons, and candy!

Marble Cakes:


Marbled fondant can be gorgeous, and it can encompass your wedding colors as well.  Ad a pop of silver or gold and you’ve got a hit!



By Shannon Bond                 By Ron Ben-Israel          

Think dreams, think color, think anything goes, that’s whimsy, and it’s trending!  This is where you can stand apart from all the weddings, like your personality!


Multiple Cakes, cupcakes and Dessert Tables:


Everybody gets what they want with this trend!  From cupcakes, mini desserts, chocolate covered oreos, pretzels, and everything in between, this trend is strong, and I hope never goes out of style!

Happy planning!

Ways to save on wedding cakes (excerpted from Bridal Guide)

35 Ways to Save on Cake (and Other Desserts)

Divine desserts (including your cake!) for less.

Sharon Naylor

Swirls of buttercream, cascades of iced ribbons and blossoms — wedding cakes are the stuff of dreams, and it’s the rare guest who doesn’t look forward to the prospect of that magical last course. But there’s no sugar coating it; the cost of confection perfection can soar. Especially these days, with desserts (and dessert tables) such a major trend.

(The national average cost of wedding cakes and desserts will be $451 in 2013, jumping to $466 in 2014, up from 2012’s $437. In areas like New York City and Napa, CA cakes can run as high as $1,200-plus.)

No worries! We’ve gathered loads of ways to slice your costs.




Top-Tier Tips

1.  As you begin to conjure up your cake, the number-one rule to keep in mind is that it’s the labor — the time spent constructing, icing and detailing — that determines most of the cost, not the ingredients. This isn’t to say that size and shape don’t come into play: They do.

2. Cakes are priced per slice, and since not every single guest is going to partake in your wedding cake, you’re safe asking your baker to allow for 25 fewer slices for a 150-guest head count.

3. Opt for a cake-slicing station (rather than a served course) so that guests can choose from the plated presentation, for a savings of 10 percent.

4. Create the effect of a larger cake by separating each layer of cake with thick, decorated non-cake layers — such as styrofoam squares wrapped with glittering fabric — to turn your three-tier into a six-tier wedding cake. You’ll get the effect of a super-pricey cake for about half the cost.

5. Go smaller. “Most couture cakes are small,” says Ramona Osirka, owner of Perfect Wedding Cake in Marietta, Georgia. “So choose a smaller, two- to three-tier wedding cake for your display and cake-cutting, and then have a non-decorated, non-stacked sheet cake in the kitchen from which your servers will cut most of the guest slices. This can save you 50 percent.”

6. Create a deconstructed cake. Osirka says, “When you display each of your standard-size wedding cake tiers on different platters and pedestals side by side, you cut out the costs of stacking and decorating a grander tiered cake.” This strategy saves 25 percent, since many bakers charge a fee for stacking cake layers.


7. Re-think mini wedding cakes for each guest table. According to Renay Zamora, owner and cake artist at SweetFace Cakes in Mount Juliet, Tennessee: “The amount of labor involved in mini cakes can raise costs. My general rule is one-quarter the size equals four times the cost.” (That said, table cakes can stand in for centerpieces, so you might end up saving on your floral bill.)

8. Go square. A square cake will usually feed more guests, since it’s easier to cut it in a grid pattern and get a larger number of servings from each tier. (Ignore the myth that frosting a square cake takes more time, effort and money: An experienced cake maker can cover and ice a square cake in no time!)


9. Shaped cakes are notorious budget busters. “Topsy-turvy cakes can take three days to make,” says Saint Sepulveda, owner of Layer Cakes in Pearland, Texas. “They also require extra layers that get carved away in the sculpting process, adding up to large expenses in ingredients and in labor-intensive decorating time.”

10. Instead of a car or football shape, Osirka says that grooms’ cakes cost a lot less when they are square, sporting an image on top made from edible ink (such as a monogram, sports logo or even a photo from a digital image). “Or you can top the cake with a toy motorcycle or other fun item.”

Sierra Exif JPEG  baseball hat 001

11. Many reception sites charge a per-slice cake-cutting fee that can range from $1 to $8 or more per slice. Some sites will charge this fee if you bring in an outside baker’s cake, and some charge it even for a cake they’ve provided. Since $3 per slice for 150 guests equals $450, this is one charge you should always try to negotiate out of your agreement.


You get what you pay for (or buyer beware)

I recently had a bride cancel a tasting. When asked why, she told me that she attended another tasting that they liked and told me what she ordered and how much it cost. A 200 serving cake, 4 tiers, fondant, fresh fruit, etc., for only $600! That’s $3.00 per serving!

In the world of wedding cakes, we charge per serving. That’s just the way it’s done. Bella’s Desserts wedding cakes are $6.00 per serving.  Now, 7 years ago when I started doing weddings, I researched my area, and 3 other bakery’s prices. I was second from the bottom. I didn’t want to be the cheapest, and obviously not the most expensive. I wanted to charge enough to make a profit, but not enough to out price my brides. I was a happy medium.

Here’s the problem. When you are dealing with a great, well known bakery, their cakes start at close to $10.00 per serving. When you are dealing with a legal home baker, I haven’t seen any prices below $3.00 per serving. So, how can this baker be making any money you ask? Well, either they are an illegal home baker, with no licensing or insurance (Bella’s Desserts has both), or they are a grocery store bakery. Moral of the story? Have a budget. If you are going to a home based baker, ask if they are licensed and insured, and if there is a contract.

I truly hope this bride gets everything she hopes for in a cake, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t.  Remember, you get what you pay for in the wedding business, so do your research well. Ask for testimonials as well as a contract. The last thing you want is a problem with your cake.

Best wishes to all my brides,

Edible Wedding Favors

by, Susan Hawkins

There’s really only one way to guarantee that your guests will find favor with your favors and that, friends, is to treat them to edible wedding favors. I was at a lovely destination wedding recently (lovelybecause it offered me the opportunity to exchange brutally cold weather for a few warm, sunny days by the sea), and, after the event was over, I noticed none of the favors remained on the tables. Not surprising.

As a wedding writer, it’s in my job description to pay attention to things like that, and when it comes to guests delighting in favors, I’ve determined that edible favors have the greatest success rate—some don’t even make it out of the reception hall and a few are even devoured before the main course arrives.

Though practical favors are often a big hit with guests, it’s clear the way to reach each guest’s heart is through the stomach. That said, let’s go beyond the usual favor boxes, cookies and candy to take a look at more imaginative edible favors!

Bella’s Edible Favor Cookie

You can “spread the love” with favor-sized, personalized jars of gourmet strawberry jam. Guests will be enjoying their morning toast while remembering your fabulous event. Also yummy on toast or in tea is the golden sweetness of gourmet clover honey in personalized jars that remind them you were “meant to bee.” But for pancakes and waffles, I’m thinking personalized bottles of luscious praline maple syrup. (And now, you’re thinking about it, too, right?)
Gourmet coffees and teas in personalized packets have a flavor and appeal all their own! According to the National Coffee Association, 80% of Americans drink coffee, and tea has so many physical benefits, it’s actually considered a health drink.

Most coffee and tea favors, like strawberry jam and honey, will find their way to the next day’s breakfast table, along with fond memories of your event. Some coffee wedding favors come with a small, stainless steel heart-shaped scoop and the meaningful phrase “The Perfect Blend” just above your names and wedding date on the label.

There are some artfully presented, delicious drink mixes on the market as well. The gift box that holds the drink mix can be personalized, too, and you can choose from lemonade, raspberry iced tea, margaritas and cosmopolitans.

Bella’s Edible Escort Card

Guests at your destination wedding, your beach wedding, spring or summer wedding or backyard barbecue rehearsal dinner would love to have something refreshing and thirst-quenching to take home and enjoy after celebrating with you!

Brownie PopIf you really want to wow your guests with an edible favor, consider an
exquisitely decorated, chocolate-covered brownie pop. Just looking at
the photos of these beauties makes my mouth water!

In most cases you can choose from milk chocolate, dark chocolate or
white chocolate-dipped brownies, and the available designs are works of

No guests are going to leave this favor on the table when they
leave, and if someone does, you can be sure there will be a guest or
two ready to snap it up and delight in having two fabulous favors to
enjoy!                                                                                                      Cake Pops

And I freely admit, I would be one of the delighted guests grabbing for one of those rare, unclaimed favors!


Want to save your wedding cake top? Here’s how!

Method for wrapping and defrosting your cake.
1. Place cake in refrigerator the night of the wedding and leave to cool overnight.

2. The next morning, make sure that you wrap your cake very tightly.
Wrap the cake so no air can touch the surface with three separate
layers of cling wrap. Follow this with a layer of foil, again very
tightly wrapped. If you have a cake box, place the wrapped cake inside.
If not, simply place the wrapped cake at the back or the side of your

3. Wait one blissful year, and pull out the cake from its’ deep
freeze. Unwrap the cake and remove and discard the wrap and the foil.
Rewrap the cake loosely with waxed paper and then cling wrap. Place
wrapped cake into the refrigerator overnight.

4. Leave the cake in the fridge until a couple of hours before you
want to eat, 2-4 hours. At which point remove the cake and place it on
your countertop and let it come to room temperature.

5. Cut the cake with a cake knife or a serrated knife.Share your memories from that special day, and enjoy!

Why Do Cakes Cost So Much?

Why do cakes cost so much? By Sin City Mad Baker

This blog entry is from an incredibly talented cake designer in Las Vegas, that I call a Myspace friend.  She’s incredibly talented, and someone I love to hear from.

“The best place to start is to discuss why cakes DON’T cost so much. You can find your cheap cakes readily available at grocery stores, price cutter stores, like your “W-Marts”, and some bakeries. They use cheap ingredients, such as dairy products that contain “Growth Hormone”, bleached flours, eggs from chicken farms that have deplorable conditions….The icings are either Non Dairy Whipped Cream (yuck) or a shortening based icing that I call, “cupcake icing” (double yuck) …basically the most cost effective way to make a cake. The cakes are made at a central bakery from a “mix”, frozen and trucked all the way to your local grocery store. Upon arrival, the cakes are cut down into various sizes. The main question to ask is, “How Many People Have Touched the Cake?” The cakes are then decorated in some of the crustiest, filthiest environments known to man….The health department would quickly shut them down if it were not for the fact that the Health Department is typically understaffed, so they typically go “uninspected” for a period of time.

Why do cakes cost so much? I can tell you why I charge what I charge for my cakes. First and foremost, I use the finest ingredients available for all of my cakes and everything is made from scratch. I do not use dairy products that contain “growth hormone”…I use local, “free range” eggs. I only use the finest extracts (Nielsen Massey) and chocolates, such as Peter’s, Callebaut or Valrhona.  If I use a whipped icing, it’s made from scratch and the cream is free of growth hormone and from a local dairy. I refuse to use “cupcake icing”…My cakes are either made with an Italian Meringue or Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I don’t make my own fondant, but I use a wonderful brand, that tastes good and is from a reputable company. Every flower that I make, be it Gumpaste, royal, fondant or buttercream…is made from my own hands. I use “kosher certified” gel colors to color my icings, fondant and gumpaste, and every detail is finished as if I was Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel.

The cake process starts with gathering ingredients, mixing and preparing the cake. Then the cake is baked, cooled, torted, filled and iced. I use a crumb coat, then a regular coat of icing, which is more time consuming. My kitchen is pristine and I treat each cake as if I were baking it for myself.

Beautiful cakes take a lot of energy, time and effort to make. I have made cakes that have taken as much as a week to make. Not to mention the planning stages…the design and drawings.

When you order a cake, be sure to consider how much work is required of your baker. Also, be sure to respect their time by ordering your cake well in advance and don’t nickel and dime them to death.

Kerry Vincent will not fire up her oven for less than $4,000…Cake Works in San Francisco has a $600 minimum charge, the Cake Girls in Chicago have a similar minimum….I’m positive that Ron Ben Israel, Colette Peters, Debbie Brown, Norm Davis, Toba Garrett and tons more charge in the thousands for their cakes.

I refuse to be a $10.00 cake whore. “

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